The action plan is epilepsy People around you know what to do if you have a seizure. All people diagnosed with epilepsy benefit from an action plan that includes appropriate steps to take in the event of an unexpected seizure.
Some people with epilepsy have triggers that make them more prone to seizures, but seizures often occur unpredictably. Treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and avoidance of triggers are important.
With drugs, many people with epilepsy have few seizures, but some people have frequent seizures even with treatment. Frequency varies from less than once a year to several times a day.
This article explains how to create a seizure action plan, treat epilepsy, and care for a loved one with epilepsy.
Treatment of epilepsy includes not only medical care but also lifestyle measures. Drug therapy is the most common treatment used to prevent attacks. Still, some people may need surgery or dietary changes if standard medications are ineffective or the side effects of medications are intolerable.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments are often promoted for seizure control but may be ineffective and unsafe for some people. Discuss such remedies with your healthcare provider before using them.
In addition, lifestyle measures to eliminate potential seizure triggers are of great value to people with epilepsy. Illness, sleep deprivation, and alcohol can trigger seizures, including severe ones.
Epilepsy is usually treated with regular daily doses of an AED. This requires consistency and discipline. Medications should be taken even if you are not having a seizure. The absence of seizures is evidence that the medication is working. For most people with epilepsy, stopping the medication triggers seizures.
In addition to regular daily prophylaxis, some people are given a prescription for an antiepileptic drug to take if an attack occurs or if an aura occurs. It’s a change.
Most people do not respond to medications given for active seizures or aura. You and your neurologist should decide if you need a prescription to take if you experience seizures or auras.
Other medical interventions include surgery, and many people who have had epilepsy surgery continue to require treatment with an AED.
Most AEDs have side effects, and it can take some time to determine the ideal dose that minimizes side effects and suppresses seizures. Do not change her AED yourself. Talk to your neurologist about dosage, seizure control, and side effects.
In general, complementary therapies are ineffective in preventing seizures.
People with epilepsy should ketogenic diet, which is a very restrictive, low-carb, high-fat diet. This is not the case for everyone. You and your neurologist can discuss whether this is a good option for you.
Identify and avoid seizure triggers
If you have epilepsy, you should take important lifestyle measures because certain things can trigger seizures. Triggers include alcohol, poor sleep, poor diet, extreme stress, and medical conditions.
Some people have photosensitive epilepsy. This is a type of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by rapidly flashing lights. If you have photosensitive epilepsy, you should take precautions to avoid exposure to this type of light. This can be seen in video games and some entertainment.
Rarely, people with epilepsy have seizures in response to certain smells or sounds. If you notice any unusual triggers, be sure to consult a neurologist. A neurologist may perform tests to determine exactly what your triggers are and advise how to avoid them.
A seizure can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- stare into space
- blink or blink
- abnormal noise
- stiffness of the whole body or part of the body
- convulsive movement
- is falling
These symptoms may begin suddenly or may be preceded by dizziness, fatigue, or unusual sensations.
Caring for a loved one with epilepsy
If you are caring for a family member or loved one who has epilepsy, you should familiarize yourself with their medication schedule. This includes knowing if there are any medications that need to be taken daily for prevention or when experiencing an aura or seizure.
Most importantly, you should be prepared to take safety precautions in case your loved one is having a seizure or is about to have a seizure. As a safety precaution, keep away from water, fire, sharp objects and possible drops.
They should also have a plan for who to call and where to take them if the seizure lasts longer or they are injured during the seizure.
Why You Need an Epilepsy Care Plan
The main reason for having an epilepsy care plan is to avoid making unexpected and urgent decisions.
Being prepared also means getting treatment guidelines from a neurologist who treats attacks. This type of guidance is based on experience in what works medically and how well people implement the recommendations into their daily lives.
Family members, friends, or roommates can safely handle unexpected or urgent problems if they know the guidance you’ve received from your neurologist. It also reduces stress and anxiety about epilepsy and makes you feel more comfortable with your epilepsy condition.
Create a seizure action plan (SAP)
There is no widely established or approved seizure action plan. Each person can work together with a neurologist to create. This includes personalized instructions that you can share or use with others you spend time with or who are in a position to care for you if you have a seizure.
Research shows that having a seizure action plan is beneficial for epilepsy patients and their families.
Who should create SAP?
Anyone with epilepsy should have a SAP made under the guidance of a neurologist. Also, SAP should be used with the input and approval of people who have epilepsy and those who care for epilepsy. This ensures that SAP is medically sound, practicable, and can be understood and processed by those involved.
what to include
Currently, there are no established uniform epilepsy treatment regimens used for people with epilepsy.
A 2021 expert panel meeting established the importance of developing a seizure action plan. The Commission recommends including the following information:
- Personal circumstances (type of seizure, location, type of residence)
- Emergency contact names and numbers, including health care providers, caregivers and family members
- A description of the individual’s common seizure signs and symptoms and atypical seizures
- When and how to administer first aid for seizures
- Information about treatments prescribed to an individual. Includes step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
- When to start medication and when to contact emergency assistance
Where are they stored?
People with epilepsy should become familiar with their epilepsy care plan. The epilepsy care plan should be shared with family members, friends, or roommates who live with the person with epilepsy. Care plans should also be provided to your child’s teachers, school nurses, coaches, and field trip and camp attendants.
Students or parents should discuss plans so that these individuals understand what they need to do, answer their questions, and address any concerns they may have.
Adults may need to share epilepsy plans with certain people at work who are expected to call for help in the event of a seizure.
Key components of the care plan are highlighted for a specific individual, making it easy to understand which parts of the care plan need to be addressed.
For people with epilepsy, it may be beneficial to wear a bracelet or another identification device so that emergency medical personnel can quickly learn about the person’s condition and allergies.
Some people have a severe reaction to AEDs, so clarifying this so emergency care providers can quickly get information if the person having a seizure is unable to communicate is needed.
If you or your child has epilepsy, it is important to create a care plan so that you and everyone who cares for you or your child is prepared in case a seizure occurs. is.
While there is no established format for an epilepsy care plan, there are some general principles that you and your neurologist can work on to develop guidelines. This includes knowing what to do, knowing when to seek help, and knowing if there are medications to take if a seizure occurs.
In addition, if you are allergic to any anti-epileptic medication, you should indicate this on your bracelet or other overt device in case paramedics are called and need to administer the medication.
A word from Verywell
Living with epilepsy requires planning. Although the state is manageable, unexpected emergencies can occur. So it’s always good to have an action plan to guide you and those around you in case of an emergency.
You and your neurologist should discuss your epilepsy emergency action plan and determine if it needs to be updated or changed on a regular basis. An emergency action plan contains steps that may be necessary in the event of a seizure.
It should also be shared with people who are responsible and trusted and who may be able to execute the plan in case they are unable to do so.
What are the warning signs of a seizure?
Warning signs include eye fluttering, eye rolling, abnormal moaning, jerking or stiffening, and falling to the ground. A seizure may occur without these warning signs.
A seizure usually lasts a few seconds, but if it lasts longer than 4 minutes, it’s a sign of a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention.
Once a seizure has started, can it be stopped?
Yes, you can stop a seizure once it starts, but most seizures go away on their own before you start taking medication. It is not safe to swallow medication during a seizure. Long-lasting attacks usually require medical intervention with intravenous drugs.
Rarely, people with epilepsy are given prescription medication to take during an attack by intramuscular injection.
What should I do to help someone having a seizure?
If someone having a seizure is nearby, help them to avoid potential harm. This includes keeping it away from water, sharp objects, or anything that can fall on it.
Seek emergency help if the seizure lasts longer than a few seconds. Emergency responders are trained to assess whether a person needs emergency treatment for a stroke.